Pacific Islands Forum

PIF Chair reaffirms support for open, constructive dialogues, Human Rights Mission to West Papua (Papua)

In line with the Forum Leaders decisions in Tuvalu in 2019, the Forum Chair has this week written to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Her Excellency Michelle Bachelet, requesting an update on the consultations with the Government of Indonesia concerning the invitation for a mission to West Papua (Papua).

Australia works with PIF to combat COVID-19 in the Pacific

This vital Forum initiative ensures the passage of humanitarian and medical supplies within the Pacific as we work together to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simon Kofe, Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers, welcomed the initiative and said: “Australia’s support will ensure that the Pacific Humanitarian Pathway will be able to deliver much needed humanitarian and medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its actions, Australia is working to achieve values of familial ties and care for neighbour’s key throughout the Pacific.”

PIF Forum Foreign Ministers to consider regional response to COVID-19 Pandemic

In a letter to all Forum Leaders on 30 March, the Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi, recognised that “we find ourselves in extraordinary times and circumstances where the very mettle of our nations and governments are tested beyond any limits that we have known in our lifetime”

Senior Officials of the Pacific Islands Forum have met to discuss and elaborate a possible regional response mechanism that would ease the coordination of supplies and assistance to the member states.

PIF urges China to 'take lead' in reducing carbon emissions

Dame Meg Taylor was speaking at a Pacific Island development forum hosted by China in Samoa this week.

Countries needed to be more ambitious than meeting Paris Agreement targets, she said, and China could be an "important ally" by taking the lead in "escalating its ambition level and its commitments" under the Paris Agreement.

"To just meet our Paris targets is no longer enough," she said at the third China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum.

PIF observers commend Tonga Electoral Commission for successful election

Team leader Wilson Waguk, who is the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia to Fiji, said they are pleased to offer their congratulations to the commission.

“Even though the Commission had a shorter time to prepare due to the snap elections, we are of the view that the Electoral Commission delivered a free and credible election. We equally recognise the contribution by other Government agencies and the voting public toward the success of the election.

Outgoing Forum chair wants Pacific speaking with one voice

Samoa takes over the chairmanship of the Forum at the 48th Forum summit in Apia early next month.

But Mr Christian will still be an integral part of the organisation, becoming one of the Forum Troika Leaders, made up of past, present and incoming Forum chairs.

At a recent meeting with the Forum secretary general, Dame Meg Taylor, Mr Christian spoke of the socio-economic and related development issues facing the region.

A critical matter for him is air transport, which has long been seen as a barrier to island nations' attempts to strengthen their economies.

Forging Forum foreign policy difficult - academic

To counter new risks facing the Pacific, the ministers discussed seeking a new collective approach to security in the region.

Anna Powles of the Massey Centre for Defence and Security Studies said common ground might be found on climate change, but this would be more difficult in matters like the Papua issue on which the Forum was divided.

Dr Powles also said new ways needed to be found to deal with transnational crime, but she said this also raised questions.

People’s Republic of China continues to support the Pacific Islands Forum

The money was handed over to Forum’s Secretary General, Dame Meg Taylor last week.

During the handover, the SG thanked China for their ongoing support through the fund and strong relationship between China and Pacific.

“I’d particularly like to thank you for the ongoing support to the Pacific Trade and Invest (PTI China) office in Beijing. The trade relationships we have with China are very important and the work of this office continues to help in their development,” she said.

Forum welcomes China's "Maritime Silk Road"

Proposed by Xi Jinping the development strategy focuses on connectivity and cooperation between China and countries primarily in Europe and Asia.

It has two components a land based "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "Maritime Silk Road".

Forum expansion unlocks new questions

RNZ reports the Forum was set up in 1971 to counter the influence of the major colonial powers, but with French Polynesia and New Caledonia added at this year's summit, France has effectively become a member of the body.

This raises questions about whether other territories in the region, such as Tokelau, American Samoa or Guam should now be included.

The director of the Pasifika Centre at Massey University, Malakai Koloamatangi, said the move had opened a lot of avenues that had seemed closed in the past.